Dec. 2016 Advocate: Faculty messages on “Why we deserve a fair contract”

Some of the 60 faculty messages presented to the Board on, “Why we deserve a fair contract”:

Faculty workload continues to increase, yet the District wants faculty to accept smaller pay increases while undergoing additional evaluation, and will not consider AFT 1493’s reasonable proposal for increasing workload equity. All at a time when the District is in its strongest financial position in many years. Doesn’t sound fair to me!

Why is it so difficult for all of you to see how dedicated, passionate, and committed we are to our students?

We have worked tirelessly to support out students and this community. Part-time and full-time, we have served this district, doing our best to respond intelligently and responsibly to every new initiative that comes down the pike. Yet, the district’s proposals for contract changes indicate to us that you don’t trust us to do our jobs. That really hurts.

We live in one of the most expensive places in the country.  If we cannot pay our faculty a wage that allows them to put their roots down and stay here, we will not be able to retain a dedicated and talented workforce. I am young and committed and want to stay in the Bay Area, but it is very difficult.

Although we’re working harder than ever and developing great new programs, in the last few years there’s been a greater feeling of distrust and lack of appreciation from top administration than I can remember in the many years I’ve worked here. Our District is in the fortunate financial position of being able to do the right thing for faculty. The Board needs to take the lead to ensure faculty are given a fair contract in order to show recognition and respect.

These negotiations seem driven on the district’s side by reversing the promising spirit of the past few years, based on collaboration, support and respectful compensation.